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The essence of freedom is understanding
Black Student Movement Official Newspaper
Tlie University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Vol. XV, No. 9
r~l Sophiscated Ladies Reviewed
I I Black J-School Professor Likes UNC
Luther Vandross Album Reviewed
by Angela Ross
Five years ago the health of the African and Afro-American Studies Curriculum
was not good, according to Dr. Colin A. Palmer, chairman of the Curriculum. Since
then, it has improved.
“But, it must be constantly nourished. We must take its temperature regularly and
it must receive constant medication.”
Palmer, an agile medium-sized, graying man with a soft voice, recently reflected
on his five-year chairmanship of the Curriculum in a colloquim and interview. He
noted that the Curriculum had improved over the past five years.
“To maintain” the Curriculum, he said, “we must keep a fine staff and continue
to be respectful of and concerned about our students.” One of his first concerns when
he became chairman was to restructure the undergraduate curriculum to reach a larger
number of students.
But he wants to do more. Thus, Palmer will not step down this spring - other Cur
riculum heads, in the past, have stepped down after five years. He said he wanted to
see certain projects completed, especially in the research dimension.
As for the undergraduate Curriculum today, it may be one of the largest in the
country. An informal survey by the Curriculum indicated that the University has the
largest enrollment of any African and Afro-American Studies program at 2,000
students this year with about 15 people majoring in the program. That’s up from 251
students in 1980.
Although 60 percent of the Black students at the University take courses in the
Curriculum, a lot of white students also participate.
Palmer said white students found the courses interesting in addition to the fact that
the courses filled General College requirements.
However, students don’t come to the Curriculum looking for easy grades.
“We are too tough,” Palmer said about the Curriculum’s grading system. He ex
plained, “We are at the point where we don’t need to prove anything anymore - we
have established ourselves.”
Only “48 percent of the students (taking courses in the Curriculum) get ‘As’ and
‘Bs’,” Palmer said. He said other University academic programs gave As and Bs to
sixty percent of the students.
“Challenging courses and assignments make the Curriculum competitive,” he
said. “The competitiveness of the Curriculum is due to the overall committment of the
faculty to excellence in teaching.”
“The Curriculum has also grown physically with more adequate office space and
more technical equipment,” he said.
Although the Curriculum has been successful in accomplishing many of its goals,
it still faces some problems.
“One of the most debilitating aspects is the constant struggle against intellectual
racism,” Palmer said.
Intellectual racism is “the perception that African and Afro-American Studies has
different professional standards from other academic units,” he said.
Palmer maintains that he confronts this problem whenever he discusses issues
regarding the appointment of other department’s professors to positions in the Cur
riculum. “I would long for the day when the initiative for an...appointment would
come from another academic department.”
Another problem facing the Curriculum is an indequate number of instructors.
“Faculty size has not increased tremendously,” he said. “We have failed to attract as
much faculty as we’d like. Most potential applicants opt for positions with other cur
Approximately 10 instructors teach courses regularly in the Curriculum, he said.
(continued on page 8}
Photo by Ralph
Black Student Movement elections were held March 19 in the Carolina Student Union.
Next years officers are (from the left) Tonya Smith, vice-president; Sibby Anderson,
president; and Janet Roach, secretary. Not pictured is Craige Goodson, treasurer.
Judging from the picture, maybe the BSM should become the BWSM — Black
Women’s Student Movement.
BSM Elects New Officers ;
Anderson is president
by Denise Moultrie
The Black Student Movement elected
new central committee members Tues
day. Sibby Anderson is president-elect.
She won 109-34 against Tony Martin,
who was a late entry in the race.
Anderson said she was surprised to
win because she was not able to campaign
as extensively as she wanted. She said,
“I’m really enthusiastic about the job.”
She plans to maintain the status of the
BSM as Sherrod Banks has done.
In the vice president’s race, Tonya
Smith defeated Todd Mason, Chairman
for Student Affairs in the Campus Gover
ning Council, 103-40. Smith was endors
ed by Anderson in the BSM candidate’s
Smith said, “I am very glad that the
people with the most experience and
dedication to the BSM won the elections.
I don’t think anyone can come into an of
fice in the BSM without having been in
tensely involved before.”
In the race for secretary, Janet
Roach, also endorsed by Anderson, was
re-elected with 102 votes to Adriann
Howard’s 41. Roach said experience with
the BSM prepared her for another term.
Craig Goodson was elected
treasurer, 95-45, over Sallie Davis.
The mandatory meal plan, constitu
tional funding for the BSM and minority
recruitment should head the list for the
BSM for the next year. Smith said.
Sherrod Banks, BSM president, said
he expects Anderson to do an outstanding
job. “Having been president of People
Against Racism (PAR), she already has
experience as a leader,” he said.
“The job of BSM president is ex
tremely difficult,” he said, “and every
BSM member should be patient and sup
portive of her as she grows into her new